It’s official. Long-time Missouri Republican leader Ann Wagner will run for chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Wagner is coming off the success of managing Roy Blunt’s run for United States Senate. She has served at the top of the national party before; serving as co-chair of the Republican National Committee for two terms, from 2001 to 2005. Wagner served as chairman of the Missouri Republican Party from 1999 until being appointed United States Ambassador to Luxembourg by former President George W. Bush.
A spokesman for Wagner, John Hancock, says the decision to run for the post didn’t come lightly.
“She considered it seriously, talked it over with her family, and came to a decision last week, really, that this was something that she needed to do to serve the party and the country,” according to Hancock.
Speculation began a couple of weeks ago that Wagner would run for RNC chair. Wagner says she would like to see the RNC become more aggressive in fundraising, manage it affairs better, reinvigorate political operations and begin new communications initiatives.
Hancock refuses to directly answer the question of whether Wagner’s decision to run discloses her displeasure with current RNC chairman Michael Steele. Steele hasn’t said whether he plans to run for re-election. Steele has been criticized for heavy spending, frequent travel and poor fundraising.
Hancock does say that though 2010 was a successful election cycle for Republicans, it could have been more successful. He claims there is growing consensus within the Republican National Committee that new leadership is needed to ensure success in 2012.
Wagner addressed the 168 RNC members in an online video. She says the RNC must be “efficient, relevant, professional and credible.” Wagner says the national Republican Party must become more aggressive in its fundraising, improve its management, reinvigorate its political operations and implement new communications initiatives.